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Husband crossed a line (long)

(157 Posts)
NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 02:26:16

I was at a work event about 10 days ago that OH was also at. The next day, OH said he thought the dress was a bit too short for a work thing. To be totally honest, I was inclined to agree with him - it tended to ride up which I hadn't noticed before and I was also wearing less opaque tights than I usually would. It turned into a row as he was being dictatorial rather than "friendly word in your ear" about it. I also think there was an element of jealousy in it as he accused me of dressing up for the "dirty old men" at the event. Anyway, we rowed. I went out for the day with the kids. He picked us up. We had a more civilized conversation about it later on after the kids were in bed. I figured to myself I might cut the dress into a top or something as I didn't want it to go to waste if I didn't like the look of it with the proper tights the next time.

Cut to two nights later and I go to get a different dress ready for work and it's not in my closet. Nor is the short dress. He has taken 2 of my dresses. He first tells me he gave them to charity but then admits they are in the shed. I am beyond furious and tell him so, don't get into any debate about the why he took them or anything, just tell him it is in no way acceptable to take my clothes. Tell him it's abusive, controlling etc. He apologises (which is extremely rare for him - to actually say it out loud, he's usually more the type to show he's sorry by actions than words). He says we can go shopping to get me something new. I am not mad keen on the idea - prefer to shop alone and don't really want his input anyway and certainly not him checking hem lengths for respectability in any way, shape or form. However, he is really making an effort so I go along with the idea.

However, the taking of the dresses plays on my mind a lot - it crosses such a terrible line. I emailed my thoughts on it and he agreed it crossed a line but his reply also implied some level of him believing he "had to" to get my attention as I was not taking him seriously. Bleurgh.

Then, this evening, I went to check about another dress of mine that I need to do a bit of mending on. This is a dress that would not look amiss on Kate Middleton - not that this it really matters either way, it was MY dress - and he has taken that too. He did not mention to me that he had taken more than the ones I knew about. And he did not take the opportunity to replace them in my closet in the week or so they were in the shed. In fact, there were 5 more dresses in there, including the one that needed mending. Again, not that it matters because they were MINE - but his point was about not giving the wrong idea in a work environment where there are known lecherous blokes and women who work there who dress in any way provocatively have been asked if they are sleeping with the boss - and only two of these could be considered non work appropriate.

So I am furious again but he is out so we can't thrash it out so I am here. I think he just doesn't like my style at work and think I should dress more office wearish. I disagree but that is not the big thing. The big think is that he thought it was ok to go into my closet and confiscate stuff.

So yes, there are thoughts of LTB in my head especially as there have been a few comments in the past year that have slightly struck a wrong note about his attitude to his role as husband being a controlling one. However, we have been together 11 years, married 8 and have 2 kids. He doesn't have form for this in the previous years.

And i mostly needed to brain dump as he is out so I can't dump on him right now and tell him how bloody wrong he is.

Well done if you got this far.

Glastokitty Tue 24-Nov-15 02:36:04

I'd be totally livid, he sounds like a control freak to me. I honestly couldn't tolerate this.

MsMims Tue 24-Nov-15 02:41:54

Who does he think he is?

Chastising you like a child, then confiscating your belongings?!

Sorry OP I don't want to fan the flames but I'd be so angry if anyone did this to me.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 02:42:02

Yep, this was horribly controlling and I am totally livid.
After finding the other dress this evening, I don't even want to attempt to go shopping with him. It will be very hard to get past and only possible if he can acknowledge that despite being upset, he has no right to take my stuff or tell me what I can wear.

ChipsandGuac Tue 24-Nov-15 02:42:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 02:43:47

MsMims Yep. I was just about getting over it given that he had apologised and has generally been making an obvious effort to be his normal decent self and then I discovered that he had taken more than just the two...and here I am.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 02:45:18

Helpful, guac.

Do you want me to show you my order from M&S for opaque tights? Or would you prefer me to send you the email I sent to my OH discussing this issue?

This is not the style and beauty section, and I think my OP makes it clear that I don't really want others opinion on my style at this point.

(However, it does explain why I couldn't find the 100 denier I wanted in H&M and had to resort to M&S)

CiderwithBuda Tue 24-Nov-15 02:45:35

Wow. I would be livid too. How bloody dare he?

Obv you need to talk to him. As for LTB - I think I would try counselling first. Talking it all out with a good counsellor might help - esp as you say he has made a few other comments that indicate a controlling nature.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 02:48:47

Thanks Cider - Yes, I think we can talk it through and get past it IF he can acknowledge the wrongness of it, no matter how much he dislikes my dress.

I couldn't believe it and it threw the other comments into a harsh light.

Not that it excuses anything but he has been out of a job for a while which I know has made him feel a bit inadequate. He now has a new one to start soon so think that will help him.

MsMims Tue 24-Nov-15 02:58:45

Really chips ! hmm

OP, do you think he really does acknowledge how wrong he is, or could he just be saying so to pacify you? How genuine does he seem?

The only way to properly overcome this is for him to accept he has been horribly controlling, as well as lying. The solution is definitely not shopping for new clothes under his supervision. He had a bloody cheek to suggest that.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 03:04:06

Totally agree, MsMims.

I initially agreed to the shopping as it was more "I'll buy you a new dress" and the short dress had been my purchase for this autumn for my work wardrobe so there was a gap and I thought that might be ok.

However, he then started suggesting suits and stuff and was a bit put out when I said that I don't need a suit (I really don't - am in a position where I rarely have meeting and when I do have meetings, I stick on my heels and a bit of jewellery or whatever and have never felt under-dressed) - since then, I have not been thinking I would want to go at all as I would either end up getting stuff I don't like or we'd be having horrible disagreements over what I need.

Garlick Tue 24-Nov-15 03:04:26

This is extremely weird! How long have you been together?

I don't like that you're trying to excuse him on grounds of stress/loss of confidence. This is the way to pave yourself a future of second-guessing yourself, treading carefully in case something bruises his little ego and he starts trashing your things. I also don't feel couples counselling is a particularly brilliant idea in this case - at best, you're going to get him verbally acknowledging he was out of order and making it all about him and his ego. At worst, you find yourself justifying your hemlines & tights to a third party!

Doesn't sound as if he's really understood how far beyond the pale his actions were (including not telling you he'd pinched a further three of your dresses!) Has he a history of criticising your appearance, thinking you're putting it about at work, half-inching your possessions or - erm, wearing your clothes?

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 03:08:45

Garlick - we've been together 10 years, married 7 and this is new. I don't think him being out of work is an excuse but I think it might explain how this has come on this year but he hasn't been like this before.

It's unlikely he'd go to couples counselling and it would be hard to find the time even if he did agree to it but we are quite good at talking things through in a combination of conversations and emails so I hope we can do that. But the ball is in his court - he does have to admit that he shouldn't have done it no matter how annoyed and upset he has been and not being acknowledged or taken seriously.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 24-Nov-15 03:15:14

Get the walls and roof of the shed reinforced, fit a steel door, burglar alarm, and pick proof locks, and use it as your wardrobe.

Alternatively, put any items you don't like to see him wearing in the shed, set fire to it, and tell him to stuff his shopping trip where the sun don't shine.

Disclaimer: controlling twats bring out the worst in me.

Titsalinabumsquash Tue 24-Nov-15 03:20:16

This is creepy and weird, I'd be confused and angry, is there any way your husband is a cross dresser (sorry if that's not the pc term) and is taking your clothes to wear and using this as an excuse? Why the shed? If he wanted them gone why not bin or donate?

None of that's the point I know, I'd be seriously considering your options here because that's just not normal. confused

mathanxiety Tue 24-Nov-15 03:24:39

This is the thin end of a huge and very dangerous wedge. You need to stop him now or you will find yourself being slowly destroyed by him.

Do not under any circumstances go shopping with this repulsive man. Tell him you reject what he said about the clothes you chose, you reject what he was insinuating about you in his remarks about your clothes, and tell him he has no right whatsoever to pass comment on them, let alone take them to the shed or try to get rid of them.

Tell him if he doesn't trust you then he needs to pack his bags and find somewhere else to live. His alternative is to go and sort himself out with a therapist. No excuses -- don't let him get away with this.

The sort of man who manages 'feeling inadequate' by insulting someone else (the implication of his comments on your dress are that you were trying to attract sexual attention from other men) and trying to control her (by choosing the clothing of a fully grown adult) may not be the sort of person you really want to have around. Please think about this very seriously.

If he won't sort himself out /leave then you need to ask yourself what your bottom line is, and you need to stick to it. Whether a relationship can survive that sort of calculation is another matter, but I would focus on the fact that he seems to have felt he could get away with his power grab, or perhaps he felt that he had nothing to lose in your feelings for him by making his move, or maybe what he wants from a relationship is something completely at odds with what you want from it, so your relationship may not be worth much anyway.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 03:41:49

Definitely not a cross dresser. I think he put it in the shed as it was the easiest/quickest place he could dump them where I would not immediately find them and he's rubbish at getting his arse into gear and actually doing something like getting them to the charity shop.

mathanxiety I have told him pretty much exactly what you said in your second paragraph. I balk at repulsive - this is, literally, repulsive behaviour to the extent it makes me not want to be near him or look at him until I know clearly that the line he crossed is deeply, deeply disturbing.

In the main, his behaviour since his apology has shown this but he should have admitted he had taken more than the things I mentioned and he should have gone to get them and given them back to me. I retrieved them after he hadn't done so as I didn't want them going damp in the shed.

However, the controlling and insulting stuff really has had me thinking about the relationship and whether I want to be in in a lot. We've had big rows before but not about something so fundamental. It also came in a week where I was crushingly disappointed about a plan that hadn't worked out and he couldn't seem to step back and just be a shoulder to cry on.

I don't know wtf is going on with him but we won't be an us forever if he can't go back to his normal non-controlling, sympathetic self.

Sansoora Tue 24-Nov-15 03:54:36

So have you been together for 11 years and married for 8?

Or have you been together for 10 years and married for 7?

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 03:57:03

Sansoora- not sure it makes all that much of a difference but we have been together since 2004 and married since 2007. So 11 and 8 - I did the sums right the first time. Either way - long enough to be familiar with his general demeanour and behaviour and to know this has not been the norm.
Long enough that it's not a question of a red flag in the early days making it a simple question to just leave.

NCShouldLTB Tue 24-Nov-15 03:57:48

Sorry - known each other since 2004, together since 2005, married since 2007...in the interest of full and clear disclosure!

goddessofsmallthings Tue 24-Nov-15 04:17:44

I'd be beyond livid if any man went into my wardrobe and removed items, not least because it would make me feel I'd have to undertake inventories on a regular basis.

Is his ego really so fragile that being unemployed has caused him to imagine you are looking to get up to all sorts with men at work simply because you choose to wear skirts that don't swirl around your ankles?

Or is it that he regards you as a possession he doesn't want other men to look at?

Either way, he must see that he's been totally out of order and has given your confidence in him a severe bashing in the process. He may be apologetic now, but how can you be assured he won't do something similar in the future?

HicDraconis Tue 24-Nov-15 04:26:06

I had this with an ex. He started out by commenting that one or two of my items of clothing weren't really flattering / didn't suit me. They suddenly weren't there one day, but a new (boring / below knee length / frumpy) skirt was. Slowly slowly with repeated comments about things not being flattering or suiting my shape I changed my entire wardrobe and with it my entire outward projection of who I was. From a smart, snappy, fun loving student to someone who looks 45 in a family wedding photo (I was early 20s at the time), who didn't socialise any more and turned quiet and subservient.

Took me a while to recover my confidence but the first thing I did when we split (aside from snog now DH!) was go shopping and get "me" back.

FrancesNiadova Tue 24-Nov-15 06:20:12

I wear opaque tights. blush
I like opaque tights. shock
What's wrong with opaque tights? confused

Your DH is being controlling, don't go shopping with him, he has to know that he's lost your confidence now.
(Does he wear slippers, a comfy cardi & smoke a pipe whilst listening to his favourite Val Doonican record?)
Also, he's started to erode your self-confidence. He's planted a tiny brain worm that will nag at you next time you wear one of your dresses. That's not nice. angry
Write down how wrong his actions are and how they've made you feel & how he's to behave if he's to re-gain your respect & trust. Do this before you talk with him so that he can't lead the discussion down another irrelevant path.
flowers [opaquetightwearingemoticon]

FrancesNiadova Tue 24-Nov-15 06:22:52

Right, I'm off to get dressed for work, in my grey opaque tights grin

XiCi Tue 24-Nov-15 06:31:58

Lol that no-one wears opaque tights. I'm not sure that poster realises what opaque tights are grin

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